Little Women, Lovely and Moving

One of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen.

The newest movie version of Little Women, based on Louisa May Alcott’s novel featuring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen as the four March sisters, left me weeping. So beautiful! So emotional! It wasn’t just the costumes, setting and lighting that made this version lovely; the character development and story ensured I root for each sister.

Jo March’s need to put words to paper touched me deeply, and witnessing the creation of her book mirrored my own desire to bring my stories to life. I wept as the pages were printed, paper folded, spine sewn, cover glued, and title embossed. Though the time period is different, her dream is my dream and, in wanting to be more than what society expects, a wish for the ages.

Hon, have you seen it? What did you think?

Alcott’s novel was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, with the first volume following the March sisters—Jo, Mary, Beth, and Amy—throughout their childhood growing up in Massachusetts and the second volume picking up with the characters in adulthood. Instead of presenting the story in two halves, [Greta] Gerwig’s film layers the past and the present throughout the entire movie, flashing back and forth in an attempt to compare and contrast the characters in these two different periods of their lives.

The result is a wildly emotional and deeply impactful piece of storytelling, as the naiveté and endless possibilities of childhood stand in stark contrast to the harsh realities of navigating the world as an adult—and as an adult woman in the 1860s at that. by  for Collider.com

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak, Book Review

I gravitate toward books where the main characters are children or teens, even if the genre is adult and not middle grade or young adult. I find children’s innocence, loss of innocence, and coming-of-age deep, beautiful, and truthful. I had read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak’s , an exquisite, devastating story that has taken permanent residence in my thoughts, and looked forward to reading his new novel, Bridge of Clay. In both books, Zusak takes his time building worlds, alternating points of view, time and place. Patience pays off, because the second I finished Bridge of Clay, I vowed to read it again so that I can study and savor the way Zusak uses language.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance.

At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle.

The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome? (Goodreads)

Quotes from Bridge of Clay:

Once, in the tide of Dunbar past – long before kitchens and boys, and murderers and mules – there was a many-named woman. And what a woman she was.
First, of course, the name she was born with: Penelope Lesciuszko.
Then the one christened at her piano: the Mistake Maker.
Her factory name was Penny Lessing.
Her unfortunate, self-proclaimed nickname was the Broken-Nosed Bride.
And last, the name she died with: Penny Dunbar.
Quite fittingly, she had travelled from a place that was best described by a certain phrase in the books she was raised on.
She came from a watery wilderness.

“At the building and glasswork were them — Michael and Penny Dunbar — and at the bottom of the Opera House stairway, five boys had appeared, and stood standing…and soon they came down to meet us. And we walked back out — through the crowds and words of people, and a city all swollen with sun. And death came walking with us.”

Let me tell you about our brother.
The fourth Dunbar boy named Clay.
Everything happened to him.
We were all of us changed through him.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell, Book Review

My daughter and her friend met Rainbow Rowell at Book Con in Manhattan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not often that my daughter recommends a book to me, but my youngest really wanted me to read Landline by Rainbow Rowell. She had read it and, because it’s about a mom who tries to juggle her work, home life and marriage, she thought I could relate. Familiar were–dare I say it?–the time before cellphones, the mom needing to write, and the questions that plague a marriage. All normal. All relatable. I wasn’t as emotional about the story and characters as I was about Eleanor and Park, but Rainbow Rowell hit the whole doubts-about-where-my-life-is right out of the ballpark.

Quotes from Landline:

You don’t know when you’re twenty-three.
You don’t know what it really means to crawl into someone else’s life and stay there. You can’t see all the ways you’re going to get tangled, how you’re going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten – in fifteen. When Georgie thought about divorce now, she imagined lying side by side with Neal on two operating tables while a team of doctors tried to unthread their vascular systems.

She didn’t know at twenty-three.”

“She thought of … the way he never made made her feel crazy, even when she was acting crazy, and never made her feel like a failure, even when she was failing.”

“Having kids sent a tornado through your marriage, then made you happy for the devastation. Even if you could rebuild everything just the way it was before, you’d never want to.”

Summary of Landline on  Goodreads:

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Have you read this book, hon? What did you think?